Assisting the development of infants born prematurely using a self-regulation framework and relationship-based intervention process

Robyn Dolby, Vickie Meade, Beulah Warren, Janette Heath Osborne, George Cooney


Purpose: An intervention for improving the self-regulatory abilities of preterm babies over the first year at home is described and evaluated. Motor control was addressed as a significant aspect of regulatory competence. Parent concerns were addressed using video replay to establish parents’ interpretation of infant behaviour.

Methods: LBW infants (< 32weeks; < 1500 gms) were randomly assigned into one of 4 blocks (control-intervention-
control-intervention) along with a full term control group.  Independent outcomes were conducted at 12 months.

Results: Preterm intervention (N = 24) scored significantly higher (p < .001) on Mental and Psychomotor Bayley Scales than preterm control infants (N = 22) though not as high as the full-term control group (N = 23). In motor development the largest gains were made by the most premature infants. The preterm intervention and full-term groups scored significantly higher on the HOME than the preterm control group (p < .007).

Conclusions: This model has implications for cost-effective practice by using key times for home visiting or community nursing to assist parents at home.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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